Apr.15, 2014 | HANDBOOK OF INTL.DIPLOMACY

Handbook of International Diplomacy―The Authoritarian Edition: Telephone Calls With Adversaries

Phone calls with an antagonistic or even nominally friendly fellow leaders can be quite challenging due to the spontaneity and unpredictability of the dialectic communication. At all times be prepared to deal with criticisms, insinuations or accusations in a natural and becalmed manner.

 

A rule of thumb when faced with such critique from your interlocutor is to deny, defect and project. Calmly state that the particular criticism/ insinuation/ accusation is completely absurd, you have never heard of such nonsense before, it is more likely that Nixon was a communist at heart or that FDR could have won a marathon. Do not allow your debater time to respond, immediately reverse the charges heaped on you and criticize/ insinuate/ accuse the interlocutor of the exact same thing(s) in the relevant context. It does not of course matters if there is any truth in your allegations. The point is to render all such finger-pointing meaningless.

 

For a case stufy, listen to the recent tense phone call between Obama and Putin regarding Ukraine.